A review by NHS England has suggested a number of new proposals after previous efforts to reduce the number of units performing delicate heart operations on very sick children in England led to acrimony and loss in confidence in the system. The review examined surgery for adults as well as children born with heart defects.
The proposals include cardiac surgeons working in teams of at least four, with each of them doing more than 124 of these highly specialised operations every year. It is suggested that this would be preferable to some hospitals undertaking a very low volume of procedures, which is not considered to be in the best interests of patients.
NHS England has indicated that it wants to commission the new service and have it up and running by April 2016.
These proposals will be considered by NHS England’s board later this week.
Having dealt with a number of cardiac claims in both adults and children, MDS welcomes the new proposals and looks forward to seeing whether they will be implemented next year. It is hoped that the changes will result in more consistent approach to the care that is delivered to cardiac patients, regardless of where they have been treated.